International Travel, Tourism and Hospitality organizations play a major role in advancing the development through the interests of the industry. They provide forums for discussions of common issues, lobby for industry causes, especially those which promote the industry’s interests, and allow members from different parts of the world to network and learn from one another. Nearly all organizations are involved in doing research, providing marketing services and training schemes that are most cost effective when done jointly under an umbrella organization.

  1. United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive developmentandenvironmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

The UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for

Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development worldwide.

1.1 Functioning of UNWTO.

The Secretariat is led by Secretary-General Taleb Rifai of Jordan, who supervises about 110 full-time staff at UNWTO’s Madrid Headquarters. The General Assembly is the principal gathering of the World Tourism Organization. It meets every two years to approve the budget and programme of work and to debate topics of vital importance to the tourism sector.  The UNWTO has six regional commissions-Africa, the Americas,

East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.   The Executive Council is UNWTO’s governing board, responsible for ensuring that the Organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget.   As host country of UNWTO´s Headquarters, Spain has a permanent seat on the Executive Council.   

Specialized committees of UNWTO Members advise on management and programme content. These include: the Programme and Budget Committee, the Committee on Statistics and the Ttourism Satellite Account, the Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness, the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability, the World

Committee on Tourism Ethics and the Committee for the Review of Applications for Affiliate Membership. 

  • World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).  

 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was formed in 1991 by a group of Travel & Tourism CEOs to study the sector’s contribution to economies and job creation.  WTTC is the only global body that brings together all major players in the Travel & Tourism sector (airlines, hotels, cruise, car rental, travel agencies, tour operators, GDS, and technology), enabling them to speak with One Voice to governments and international bodies. 

The WTTC uses empirical evidence to promote awareness of Travel & Tourism’s economic contribution; to expand markets in harmony with the environment; and to reduce barriers to growth. It is important that WTTC has the broadest geographical representation and includes all aspects of the sector, including organizations that provide vital services to Travel & Tourism. With Chief Executives of over 140 of the world’s leading Travel & Tourism companies as its members, the WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel & Tourism. 

The body advocates partnership between the public and private sectors, delivering results that match the needs of economies, local and regional authorities, and local communities, with those of business, based on: Governments recognizing Travel & Tourism as a top priority business balancing economics with people, culture and environment a shared pursuit of long-term growth and prosperity.

2.1 Research of WTTC.

  1. Economic Research.  It studies and publishes research on the sector’s direct, indirect, and induced impact at a national, regional and global level on jobs, GDP, and trade and investment.  
    1. Policy Research.  A range of other research projects focused on issues impacting the Travel & Tourism sector, related to the three strategic priorities of Freedom to Travel, Policies for Growth, and Tourism for Tomorrow.  
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 265 airlines or 83% of total air traffic.  IATA was founded in Havana, Cuba, on 19 April 1945. It is the prime platform for inter-airline cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure and economical air services for the benefit of the world’s consumers. The international scheduled air transport industry is more than 100 times larger than it was in 1945.  IATA is led by Alexandre de Juniac, Director General & CEO since September 2016.

At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has some 265 members from 117 nations in every part of the globe. The IATA is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, founded in

The Hague in 1919 – the year of the world’s first international scheduled services.  In April 2017, IATA celebrated 72 years of flying.   

  • IATA maintains an international perspective and provides a unique global voice on behalf of its members.
    • With over 60 offices worldwide, IATA maintains relationships with governments and other industry stakeholders around the world, advocating on behalf of its members on key industry issues
    • Vision & Mission.
      • Vision. To be the force for value creation and innovation driving a safe, secure and profitable air transport industry that sustainably connects and enriches our world.
      • Mission. IATA’s mission is to represent, lead, and serve the airline industry.
    • Representing the Airline Industry.

The IATA improves understanding of the air transport industry among decision makers and increases awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. Advocating for the interests of airlines across the globe and stopping unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments to account, and striving for sensible regulation are four important activities. 

  IATA helps airlines to operate safely, securely, efficiently, and economically under clearly defined rules. Professional support is provided to all industry stakeholders with a wide range of products and expert services.

  • IATA Members.

From 57 founding members in 1945, IATA now represents some 265 airlines in over 117 countries. Carrying 83% of the world’s air traffic, IATA members include the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines. IATA membership is open to airlines operating scheduled and non-scheduled air services that maintain an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registration.

  • IATA Airline Membership Benefits.

Increasing Communication.

  1. Participation in member conferences, committees and groups offers unprecedented access to a variety of airline and industry partners
    1. The IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit bring together representatives from leading international airlines
    1. IATA helps members gain influence with the travel agent community through the IATA Agency Program  

Providing Key Commercial Services & Training.

  1. IATA provides training in major fields such as passenger, cargo and safety
    1. IATA programs help to strengthen the capabilities of aviation industry professionals
    1. IATA members can receive discounts up to 30% on a number of IATA publications
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.

In addition to its core work resolving consensus-driven international SARPs and policies among its Member States and industry, and among many other priorities and programmes, ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.

  1. Vision and Mission.
    1. Vision. Achieve the sustainable growth of the global civil aviation system.
    1. Mission. To serve as the global forum of States for international civil aviation.  ICAO develops policies and Standards, undertakes compliance audits, performs studies and analyses, provides assistance and builds aviation capacity through many other activities and the cooperation of its Member States and stakeholders.
    1. How ICAO Develops Standards.

The establishment and maintenance of international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), as well as Procedures for Air Navigation (PANS), are fundamental tenets of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and a core aspect of ICAO’s mission and role.

SARPs and PANS are critical to ICAO Member States and other stakeholders, given that they provide the fundamental basis for harmonized global aviation safety and efficiency in the air and on the ground, the worldwide standardization of functional and performance requirements of air navigation facilities and services, and the orderly development of air transport.

The development of SARPs and PANS follows a structured, transparent and multi-staged process – often known as the ICAO “amendment process” or “standardsmaking process” – involving a number of technical and non-technical bodies which are either within the Organization or closely associated with ICAO.

Typically, it takes approximately two years for an initial proposal for a new or improved Standard, Recommended Practice or procedure to be formally adopted or approved for inclusion in an Annex or PANS. Occasionally, this timescale can be expanded or compressed depending on the nature and priority of the proposal under consideration.

  • United Federations of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA).

In the 1960s at the dawn of mass tourism, a few tourism professionals with great foresight saw the need of a global umbrella organization for the travel agency industry. By merger of Fédération internationale des agencies de voyages (FIAV) and Universal Organization of Travel Agents’ Associations (UOTAA), the Universal Federation of Travel Agents ‘Associations (UFTAA) was formed on November 22nd 1966 in Rome. Its first President was an Italian, Giuliano Magnoni, later followed by 24 leading personalities from all parts of the world. The federation was later renamed United Federation of Travel Agents´ Associations, still known under the same well-established acronym UFTAA.

As a globally recognized body UFTAA is the longest established negotiating partner with the leading travel and tourism organizations in the world. Of a special importance is the close co-operation with IATA, representing the interest of individual travel agents and as a partner in the IATA-UFTAA Training Programme. Two other organizations with close relationship are the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA) and the International Road Union (IRU). Also in areas which are more distanced from the daily worries of travel agents has UFTAA actively been and still is a spokes-person for the agent´s interest. Particularly worth mentioning are the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) through its Affiliate Member Programme and at various occasions the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) and many more. The high-level contacts have enable UFTAA to assist national associations in their contacts with authorities and also to help individual agencies.

Through its history UFTAA has been a faithful, active and neutral advocate for all associations and independent travel agencies, irrespective of size and location. In the competitive environment of today a neutral umbrella organization like UFTAA is needed more than ever before to defend and promote the interests of travel agencies in their professional work on behalf and for the travelling consumers.

UFTAA gets ready to celebrate its 50 years of successful contribution to the Travel & Tourism Industry. UFTAA offers to its membership the valuable opportunity to be involved with UFTAA’s networking global platform in order to support good health of travel and tourism industry. UFTAA encourages associations; organizations; institutions and individual member agencies in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry to get connected via UFTAA. 

5.1 Mission.

UFTAA’s mission is to be an international forum where matters affecting the world travel industry are addressed, representing and defending the interests of incoming and outgoing tour operators, travel and tourism agencies before the governmental bodies, suppliers and other entities of international scope. It also aims at strengthening its members’ image and enhances the world travel and tourism industry and a sustainable tourism.

5.2 Functions of UFTAA.

To comply with its mission, the Confederation develops the following functions:

  • To unite and consolidate the Federations of Travel Agents’ National Associations and to globally enhance the   interests of their members      
  • To represent the travel agents’ activities before various world-wide bodies, governmental authorities and suppliers 
  • To work towards the adoption of measures that will ease travel for the consumer and to offer services to its member federations 
  • To offer, as a voluntary mechanism, an arbitration service which assists in solving conflicts resulting from commercial relations for which amicable settlement cannot be reached   
  • To organize a world congress of travel agents and other meetings necessary to the exchange and transmission of knowledge.
  • International and Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA).

January 1869, 45 Hotelmen met together in Koblenz at Hotel Trier, Germany and decide to create an Alliance between them under the name of All Hotelmen Alliance (AHA) to defend their interest, and they start to grow and get organized. Hotels were from different standards.

April 1921 various Local European, African, Latin, American hotels association met together and decide to merge into a new international Association and it becomes International Hotels Alliance (IHA). 

November 1947, after the end of the second world war and the creation of the United Nations, Hoteliers from International Hotels Alliance met together with The European Aubergistes association and the Asian Innkeepers Association and decide to merge into a large International Association to defend the Private sector worldwide from

Governments, Public sectors, Military etc…and create International Hotels Association (IHA) in London.

The IH&RA is the only international trade association exclusively devoted to promoting and defending the interests of the hotel and restaurant industry worldwide. It is a non-profit organization and is officially recognized by the United Nations. IH&RA monitors and lobbies all international agencies on behalf of the hospitality industry

6.1  Who are its Members?

  • International, National and Regional Hotel and/or Restaurant Associations
  • International and National Hotel and/or Restaurant Chains 
  • Owners, Developers and Investors
  • Individual Hotels and Restaurants
  • Institutions of the Industry (hotel schools, educational centers, universities)
  • Students / Independent Hoteliers and Restaurateurs

6.2  What Does IH&RA Do?

  • Monitor issues that are raised by major international organizations involved in tourism.
  • Represent the collective industry interests before policy makers.
  • Lobby for better recognition of the hospitality industry worldwide.
  • Lobby against damaging or costly attempts to regulate the industry.
  • Create Global Councils around industry issues to debate positions & create solutions.
  • Listen to its members to ensure that all issues are addressed.
  • Plan a series of informative Council and Board meetings and an annual Congress.
  • Provide support where requested to lend weight to local and regional issue.

6.3  Advocacy

As the only international trade association devoted to protecting the interests of the global hospitality industry, the International Hotel & Restaurant Association’s role is to monitor, research, and where possible, preempt the passage of regulation and taxation at the international level when this is deemed to run contrary to industry interests. The representation work involved in doing this is termed “advocacy”, i.e. advocating or defending the interests of a specific sector before public (and sometimes private) sector decision-making bodies.

Why to Undertake Advocacy?

The Travel & Tourism explosion of the last three decades has focused government attention on the hospitality sector as never before, bringing in its wake a surge of new regulation and taxation. Although laws are enacted at national level, they frequently have their genesis in international agencies (principally those of the United Nations) which have seen their role and mandate expand exponentially in recent decades.

As a result advocacy (or lobbying) to promote and defend the hospitality industry’s interests has been repeatedly stressed by Chain and National Association Chief Executives within IH&RA as the activity that constitutes their major expectation of membership. As a membership-driven association and the “voice of the industry”, IH&RA must be vigilantly proactive in protecting the global interests of the hospitality industry it represents. To do this, it is essential to monitor research and even more importantly, forecast the issues of concern and importance to its members and the industry at large

  • Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organizations, comprising 95 governments, state and city tourism bodies, 29 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.

Since 1951 PATA has led from the front as the leading voice and authority on travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region

  • In partnership with private and public sector members, PATA enhances the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to-from-and-within, the region.
    • PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC) offers unrivalled data and insights including Asia Pacific inbound and outbound statistics, analyses and forecasts as well as in-depth reports on strategic tourism markets
    • PATA’s events create millions of dollars of new business each year for its members
    • The PATA Foundation contributes to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of heritage and support for education.

7.1  PATA Chapters.

PATA Chapters are established throughout the world to assist in the fulfillment of the objectives of the Association. They are local community organizations of travel industry professionals who join in a co-operative Endeavour – within the framework of PATA – to develop travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific area. There are 40 PATA Chapters around the world that make valuable contributions to local travel industry communities.